Tuesday April 5, 2011
The Elmer Gantry of Ottawa
"Yes, Harper's new prisons are for us"
Submitted by Betty Krawczyk
lse why would Harper be building so many? Especially when statistics show that violent crimes have actually gone down in Canada? I believe Harper’s big investments in prisons (up to ten new prisons, expanding old ones; billions of dollars) are to alley his worst fears of the Canadian people.
Fears? Yes, in my opinion, I think that Harper fears public reaction to his future economic plans and that the prisons will be primarily to accommodate a wave of public protest against the joblessness and finale cuts in social programs he will make if reelected. And Harper’s uncompromising political agenda is buttressed by his religious ones.
Stephen Harper is a fundamentalist evangelical Christian of the Dispensationalist variety, that is, one who holds a literal belief in the Bible, particularly the Book of Revelations. This book describes the Armageddon, a name given to the events prophesied to occur when the earth’s people will be in total chaos and Jesus will return and create the “Rapture” for believers. And non- believers? Well, they get to perish in a river of fire. And I believe that Stephen Harper’s brothers in faith, Stockwell Day and Chuck Strahl (and supported by Jimmy Pattison who is rumored to be the richest man in BC) are returning to British Columbia to prepare for the Second Coming.
It can be argued that Mr. Strahl’s return to BC is connected with his asbestos related cancer, but this did not diminish his enthusiasm for Canadian asbestos mines and the perceived need to export it to poor third world countries whose people, in turn, will sicken and die from asbestos. I think this a rather peculiar, uncaring position to take, and until his decision to return to BC with Stockwell Day, Mr. Strahl insisted that he would run again. In my opinion, Harper called an election (by refusing input of the other parties) because he foresees another Armageddon, a financial one this time, perhaps to proceed his expectation of the Biblical one, when (if) he is reelected.
The financial Armageddon has to do with the high Canadian dollar. As of today (April 4th) the Canadian dollar is worth one dollar and three cents US (and climbing). But that’s good, right? To have a strong Canadian dollar? Yes, if we’re shopping in the US, but no, if our jobs and very livelihoods depend on exports. As everyone knows we Canadians live primarily by exporting our natural resources…wood, water, oil, and minerals. But when the Canadian dollar is so high then our exports are not as competitive in the world market and then many of our commodities just sit, waiting for the market to change. The market seems loath to change at the moment but it must be made to do so fairly soon or Canada will go broke. How to make our dollar go down?
Two ways...the Bank of Canada (or in reality our domestic banks) can print more money which would gradually devalue our dollar until it gets pushed down below par with the US. However, this would cause hyper-inflation. Or there could be some sort of readjustment at the Bank of Canada that would be the equivalent of an immediate devaluation. And that would be that. No more great American shopping and anything imported would cost lots more. However, some jobs might pick up immediately as more commodities would be shipped out. But, as always, the CEO’s and stock holders of our great international resource sucking corporations will take the money and run.
Perhaps those of us Canadians, who can, should go ahead and shop south of the border while our dollar is high. My guess is that if Stephen Harper is reelected the Canadian dollar will immediately plummet as he will not resist the demand from the corporations who own us to devalue the dollar (in cooperation with the banks, of course, and their obscene profits) and cut more corporate taxes (like they pay a lot now).
And the Stephen Harper, Stockwell Day, Chuck Strahl, Jimmy Pattison fundamentalist brand of religion will flourish in British Columbia. The condition of the majority of us will resemble the condition of First Nations on contact…the exploiters take the land and resources and give us the Bible. Particularly the Book of Revelation. And if we vehemently object then yes, Harper’s new and expanded prisons will be waiting.
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